To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what progress his Department is making on meeting the 2.3 per cent public sector apprenticeship target; and when his Department will meet that target.
The Department has taken a proactive approach to embedding apprenticeships so that they are a core part of our learning and development offer. We continue to increase the take-up of apprenticeships year on year. Apprentices currently make up 3.5% of the Department’s 2,044 headcount as at 1 September 2020.
We have refreshed our apprenticeship strategy for 2020/21 and are further developing our engagement strategy to continue raising awareness and improve take-up. We are continuing our proactive approach by aligning apprenticeship opportunities more closely with recruitment activity. Given the target is a percentage of the total workforce, the percentage changes in line with workforce fluctuations making it challenging to predict when the Department might meet this.
The impact of the current pandemic has impacted on the number of apprenticeship opportunities we have been able to create. However, we are focused on how we can continue to support the apprenticeship agenda and drive forward recruitment through our apprenticeship strategy, which will enable us to keep making improvements.